It was that same hospitality that allowed the suspected gunman to be welcomed into a Bible study for about an hour before he allegedly stood up, made racially offensive remarks and opened fire in the church known as “Mother Emanuel” because it is one of the oldest black congregations in the South.
“I was so pleased when authorities told us you can go back into ‘Mother Emanuel’ to worship,” said the Rev. Norvel Goff, a presiding elder of the 7th District AME Church in South Carolina, before adding a note of defiance to a service sprinkled with themes of love, recovery and healing.
Despite the heaviness in the air, many stood — some holding small children — to shout their praises or raise their hands toward the church’s vaulted ceiling. For added security, police officers stood watch over the worshippers.
Some congregation members stood to applaud when Goff thanked law enforcement for their response to the shooting.
The welcoming spirit Roof exploited before the shooting was still alive.
When things are not going right, or the way you think they should go, there are usually two responses to it: people either turn to God or they turn away away from Him. Well, the congregation at Emanuel AME has decided to turn to God in the aftermath of the shooting that made headlines over the past week. The church held it's first service since the shooting that took place at Bible Study. MSN has more on the story:
Remon is a multi-media personality. He is the founder of The Urban Advocate.